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2001 collection of modern guitar-based Blues including cuts from legends such as Muddy Waters, Freddy King, Bobby Bland, and John Lee Hooker, along with recent Blues stars like Stevie Ray Vaughan and his followers Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang.
A good introduction to modern guitar-based blues, Pure Blues features classics by Muddy Waters, Freddy King, Bobby Bland, and John Lee Hooker, along with recent blues stars like Stevie Ray Vaughan and his followers Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang. While attributing classic status to Susan Tedeschi's "Just Won't Burn" may chafe some purists, this comp clearly wasn't intended for the die-hard blues fanatic. But as an introduction, it illustrates the blues tradition and its influence on rock (and rock's influence on the blues) quite nicely. For fans of the Allman Brothers (whose version of Blind Willie McTell's classic "Statesboro Blues" is included) or Eric Clapton's work with Derek & the Dominos or for dad at Christmas, this would make a good gift. Also, if this manages to inspire anyone to pick up Etta James's classic Tell Mama set, the folks at UTV will have done the world a service. --Mike Johnson
|Essential Chicago Blues
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NEW Combo BLUWAVS CD and FLAC FILE
|35 X The 35th Anniversary Of Alligator Records (2 CD)
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35 X 35 is not just another best-of compilation. Alligator founder and president Bruce Iglauer and staff chose to spotlight songs from the Alligator debut release from each featured artist. From "She's Gone" (the very first track on the very first Alligator album, 1971's Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers) to the legendary Mavis Staples' chilling "A Dying Man's Plea," 35 X 35 is effectively a chronological history of Alligator, a story told in music highlighting every style of blues and roots music the company has released. From the searing hard blues of Hound Dog Taylor, Son Seals, Albert Collins, Luther Allison, Koko Taylor and Buddy Guy to harmonica-driven workouts from Big Walter Horton, Carey Bell, James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite and William Clarke to the Gulf Coast piano blues of Professor Longhair, Katie Webster and Marcia Ball to the acoustic music of Saffire--The Uppity Blues Women and Corey Harris, it is clear that Alligator Records has been, and will remain, at the forefront of modern blues music in all of its many shades. With personal notes on each track from Iglauer in the accompanying 40-page booklet, 35 X 35 is proof of the staunchly independent label's single-minded vision for all these years: to record nothing but deeply rooted "Genuine Houserockin' Music."
Unlike many men, Alligator Records never forgets an anniversary. "The country's largest contemporary blues label," as it rightly bills itself, has released multidisc compilations celebrating its 20th, 25th, 30th, and now 35th years. For reasons that aren't entirely clear, only tracks recorded for an artist's first Alligator disc are chosen for this chronologically presented summary of music that stretches from Hound Dog Taylor's electrifying 1971 label debut to Mavis Staples's in 2004. Although the imprint made a tentative stab at reggae in the mid '80s, its roster generally upholds the "genuine houserocking music" credo Alligator has boasted as a tagline since the early days. Whether reviving the careers of blues rockers (Johnny Winter, Roy Buchanan, Lonnie Mack, Elvin Bishop) or ageing icons with plenty of gas left in their tanks (Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy, Katie Webster, Mavis Staples, James Cotton, Guitar Shorty) or finding new blood to carry on the traditions (Michael Burks, Corey Harris, Dave Hole, Tinsley Ellis, Shemekia Copeland), Alligator sets the standard for what an independent label can achieve. These 35 nuggets extracted from a catalog of 225 albums only begin to tell the label's story, but there's not a weak one in the lot. Founder Bruce Iglauer's intriguing and insightful liner notes for each act add depth to the tunes, making 35x35 a representative sampler that's also an exhilarating listening experience, and a fascinating overview of American roots music. --Hal Horowitz
|Alligator Records 30th Anniversary Collection
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The great contemporary blues label celebrates its 30th anniversary. One disc is studio, the other live, and the live disc not only includes five unreleased tracks but also a special CD-ROM track with the only known video of Alligator's first artist, Hound Dog Taylor, performing live at the 1973 Ann Arbor Blues Festival. 31 songs, over 145 minutes of music!
Three decades ago Bruce Iglauer founded Alligator Records, selling his hero Hound Dog Taylor's records out of his car trunk. Since then, Alligator has become America's best-known and most prolific blues label, and many of the reasons for its success appear on this budget-priced, two-disc 30th anniversary collection. Much of the material, including Marcia Ball's "Louella" and Shemekia Copeland's "Turn the Heat Up," comes from relatively recent recordings, since the label also released anthologies honoring its 20th and 25th anniversaries. Those two collections are unreservedly recommended, with the 20th providing the best historical overview of the label's evolution.
But the 30th holds its own, presenting guitar greats like Lonnie Mack ("Stop"), Johnny Winter ("My Time After Awhile"), and Lonnie Brooks ("Two-Headed Man"), as well as harmonica heroes James Cotton ("When It Rains It Pours"), Junior Wells ("Keep Your Hands Out of My Pockets"), and William Clarke ("Broke and Hungry"). Several outstanding duets, including a fine and funky tune by Henry Butler and Corey Harris and a classic from a Robert Cray and Albert Collins collaboration, provide variety.
The second disc contains 13 live cuts, featuring some of the most exciting live blues acts ever, such as Albert Collins, backed by the Icebreakers; Luther Allison, who rips through his signature "Soul Fixin' Man"; and Son Seals, who gets help from Elvin Bishop. Dynastic zydeco great C.J. Chenier serves up "Jambalaya," and Delbert McClinton dishes out blue-eyed soul with "Maybe Someday Baby" to further flavor the live action. And to top it off, there's a bonus video track featuring Hound Dog Taylor to make the celebration complete. --Michael Point
|Genuine Houserockin Christmas
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|Best Of Chess: Original Versions Of Songs in Cadillac Records
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The 2008 movie Cadillac Records is the story of Chess Records. The Best of Chess is the original versions of the songs used in the Cadillac Records movie starring Beyonce, Mos Def, Solange, Jeffrey Wright, Raphael Saadiq and others. Cadillac Records chronicles the history of Chess Records, the pre-eminent blues label of the 1950s and 1960s co-founded by Leonard Chess and his brother Phil. Featured songs in Cadillac Records by Etta James (played by Beyonce Knowles), Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright), Little Walter (Columbus Short), Willie Dixon (Cedric the Entertainer), Chuck Berry (Mos Def), Howlin' Wolf (Eamonn Walker) and more.
|This Is the Blues, Volume 2
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The second in a series of blues compilations featuring a wealth of some of the greatest blues songs, written by the likes of John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, Peter Green, Robert Johnson, Willie Dixon & many more blues legends!
DISC 2 of this series includes a host of legends paying tribute to these great songs, including: John Lee Hooker, Peter Green, Rory Gallagher, Jack Bruce, "Lonesome" Dave Peverett and others.
|Paint It Blue: Songs Of The Rolling Stones
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|Mali to Memphis
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The blues-Mali connection has been much pondered, and Mali to Memphis attempts to illustrate the tie with selections of both Malian artists and American bluesmen (and women). The Malian cuts, especially those from Rokia Traore, Boubacar Traore, and Lobi Traore, are the most persuasive, setting up long, monochromatic, loping grooves not dissimilar to John Lee Hooker's, over which are laid some spine-chilling vocals, tinged with the Arabic influences of Islam. Hooker himself, who comes in with an acoustic "I'm in the Mood for Love," is the most obvious U.S. stylistic link. Muddy Waters, Eric Bibb, and Jesse Mae Hemphill also provide interesting comparisons, but some of the other blues choices, nice as they are, aren't as convincing examples of musical similarity. The point is well made that it is within the vocal styles that any cross-cultural pollinations are found, not in the 8-, 10-, 12-, or 16-bar structures that dominate the blues idiom. The blues are a vehicle for stories, emotion, and tradition, and the griots of Mali share the same responsibility, only they are much more deeply embedded in, and fundamental to, the culture of the land, something that oozes out of every note they play. --Derek Rath
|Chicago/The Blues/Today! [3 CD]
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When blues historian Samuel Charters released his three-volume collection of Chicago blues in 1966, it had an impact on the rock and roll world similar to that of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music , exposing a new, predominantly white generation to the sounds of the urban blues Mecca. Each artist came in and recorded 4-6 songs specifically for the project; many of these tunes have become staples in blues and rock repertoires. Includes Messin' with the Kid Junior Wells Chicago Blues Band; I Can't Quit You Baby Otis Rush Blues Band; Dust My Broom Homesick James & the Dusters; Hey, Hey Johnny Shines Blues Band; The Blues Keep Falling Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet; Sometimes I Wonder Otis Spann's South Side Piano, and more.
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